Posted by: DCox | July 9, 2008

When Jesus Lingers

Further reflections on The Lazarus Life


I’ve found myself asking the question, “Where is God?” when I’m longing for His presence – to comfort, heal, answer prayers, right wrongs, etc.  Asking this question hasn’t been a solitary event; rather, at times, it seems it’s almost a daily event with repetitions on the theme occurring throughout a day.  The question is prompted by a desire for life to be controlled, easier, and less painful.


Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, learned something about the lingering Jesus too.  This excerpt from John 11 indicates that Jesus didn’t immediately respond to the sisters pleas to come and save their brother:

6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days… 17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.


The Raising of Lazarus by Giotto di Bondone

The Raising of Lazarus by Giotto di Bondone

Jesus waited.  Lazarus died. 








Before asking the obvious, “Why did Jesus wait?”, it’s important to see that Mary, Martha and others were mourning the death of Lazarus.  They also let Jesus get a glimpse of what was going on in their souls.  They were saying, “If you only had been here our brother wouldn’t have died.” 

21“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

 32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”


During the hard times of life it’s hard not to blame God.  God, if only you had … The disappointments and tragedies conspire to reinforce the broken heartedness that the writer of Isaiah 61 assumes we all experience (see June 19 post).  We interpret life through our brokenness and when God doesn’t respond as we ask/demand this further confirms that He can’t be trusted for the most important longings and desires of our lives.


  1. I was thinking the other day about the Fruit of The Spirit list in Galatians 5:22. It has Faith & Self-Control.

    I never thought of Self-Control as important but it is… in the good times, the bad ones, and the tempting ones.


%d bloggers like this: